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Exxel Group, the Argentine private equities fund, has bought 50.1 per cent of Brazilian first division soccer team Vitoria for an undisclosed sum, an Exxel official said.


Exxel also agreed to lend the company $12m (£8m).

The assets include television rights, the rights to all the club's players and a 50,000-seat stadium in the northern Brazilian city Salvador, Gerardo Leon, Exxel's sports business director said.

"Transfer fees for one of Vitoria's players alone have been valued at $6m," he said, adding that Exxel hoped to capitalise on the club's pool of young local talent.

Vitoria were semi-finalists in Brazil's national championship last year but have been unable reproduce that form this season.

Vitoria is Exxel's second sporting investment. It took over management of Argentine second division club Quilmes in March. Exxel's financing is mainly from foreign sources. Investors include the Ford foundation and Deutsche Banc Alex Brown.


It was seeking more sport investment opportunities in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, Leon said.

Soccer fans and insiders say the arrival of business groups with available capital could transform South American soccer and make it look more like its European counterpart.


The region produces many of the world's best players but the stars are usually snapped up by rich European clubs.


Other investors rumoured to be looking into Argentine soccer clubs include Dallas-based Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, which has a management deal with Brazilian club Corinthians.
 

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Vitoria are so stupid.
MOst Brazilian clubs are really stupid, tehy sell themsleves and then have nothing. The only club that done the right thing was Vasco, cause their director is the only real smart football director in Brazil, all the ohter ones are brainless!
Vitoria by the way made : Dida, Vampeta, Paulo Isidoro,Alex Alves, Tuta, and Baiano in the last years
 
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